Budgets are always a balancing act between different priorities, with judgment calls on how best to raise income and allocate funds. Shona Robison’s first Budget as Finance Secretary was no exception, with the headlines centered on the much-trailed changes to income tax rates.

People are happy to pay taxes for good public services. Citizens rely on those services and recognise they cost money.

Most also agree that those with the broadest shoulders should pay the most: in other words tax should be "progressive".

Since acquiring income tax-raising powers in 2016 the Scottish Government has gradually added more tax bands and rates. All of them, apart from the 19% Starter Rate - worth just £20 per year - are higher than in the rest of the UK. Between them they raise an additional £1.5 billion in tax revenues, with the biggest part of that resulting from freezing the higher rate threshold, impacting all those earning more than £43k.

Much has been made about the risk of people leaving the country if tax rates are increased further. The data shows that more working-age people still move from England to Scotland each year than relocate in the opposite direction. But if just three out of every 100 taxpayers in the new Advanced tax band decide to move (or not to come to Scotland in the first place) then it will actually reduce rather than increase the funds available for public services.

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Increasing the top rate to 48p is only estimated to raise £8 million, with £45m lost due to people changing their behaviour moving south or switching income into company profits that go directly to Westminster, not Holyrood. Half of the revenue from the new 45p rate, another £74m, is likewise lost to behaviour changes. The additional risk is that people start to expect tax rates to be increased on an annual basis with that uncertainty weighing heavily on their decision-making.

Income, of course, isn’t the only source of tax revenue. Most consumption and corporate taxes are still controlled by Westminster, but Scotland does have control over property taxes. Property has the advantage over income in that it’s not mobile, it's much less likely to impact people's decisions to move for a variety of reasons and council taxes in Scotland are, on average, currently significantly lower than they are south of the border.

A progressive property tax - replacing the council tax with a fixed percentage of a property’s value - even with generous measures to support those genuinely unable to pay - has the potential to raise far more than tinkering around with income tax. That, coupled with moves towards a Land Value Tax, is the kind of bold progressive tax measure that we should be considering.

And do we get value for money for those taxes? Public sector spend in Scotland is more than £2,000 per person higher than it is in the rest of the UK. Free university tuition, prescriptions and travel for many, and targeted support such as the Child Payment accounts for some of that.

And while our NHS performs, on many measures, better than south of the Border, no-one can deny there aren’t significant challenges. Additional tax for a purpose, to fix those public services, is something that would find favour. But there is no expectation that dramatically cutting waiting lists is on the cards. Tax rises are presented as a stopgap to prevent services getting even worse.

More money isn’t always the answer. The lack of medical practitioners in much of our health services isn’t just lack of budget, there just aren’t the skills there to fill those roles. And the doctor who decides not to move to Scotland because she doesn’t want to pay extra thousands in income tax doesn’t help.

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It’s now 12 years since the Christie Report laid out what good public sector reform could look like. It described the public service system as fragmented, complex, opaque, hampering joint working, "top down", unresponsive to the needs of individuals and communities, lacking accountability and characterised by short-termism, and that as much as 40% of all spending on public service goes on interventions that could have been avoided by prioritising a preventative approach.

Everyone has a story from personal experience about how inefficient public services can be. Whether it's being asked multiple times to input the same information or disconnected services not talking to each other.

Workers in public services will see this better than most, armies of managers talking the talk rather than spending the money on frontline services, or listening to those on the front line about what needs to be done to make things better.

It’s time to start to take that agenda seriously so that people see they are getting value for money for that extra tax.

Ivan McKee is an MSP and former Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise